Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What are the qualifications to register/vote?

A citizen of the United States (if convicted of a felony, citizenship rights must be restored). A legal resident of Durham County for 30 days by the date of the next election. A person 18 years of age, or a person 17 years of age can register and vote in the primary if they will be 18 by the date of the General Election.

How do I register to vote?

You must complete a Voter Registration Application and mail or deliver to the elections office at least 25 days prior to an election. A Voter's Information Card will be mailed to you once your registration application has been processed. This card provides your proof of registration and also provides useful information as to your precinct number and polling location. The card also displays what jurisdictions you vote in. Please retain this card as it may be used to change your address by mail should you move, change your name or change your party affiliation within Durham County. It can also be used to cancel your Durham County registration should you move out of the county. This card is not required on election day in order to vote.

Durham County has a permanent registration system. You need to register or request a change in your registration only if you:

  • Have not registered in Durham County before.
  • Have moved within the county since the last election. It is a violation of the law to vote in your old precinct if you moved more than 30 days prior to the election.
  • Wish to change your party affiliation or have legally changed your name.

A registration application/change form must be postmarked or delivered to the Board of Elections 25 days prior to an election in order to be valid for that election.

Where can I get voter registration/change forms?

Pick up a form at any Durham County Public Library, driver's License office, Public assistance agency, public high school, Armed Forces recruitment office and customer service/information desk at Northgate Mall. The voter registration /change forms are also available at the Board of Elections Office, and downloadable from this website at the link "Voter Registration". Complete and sign the form and mail it to us at PO Box 868 Durham, NC 27702.

How do I change my information? Name/Party/Address

There are two ways a voter can change their information (1) A voter can send us their voter card with the change (new information) marked on the back, (2) or the voter can complete a voter registration/change form annotating the new information. Either form MUST be signed with the voter's original signature. By law we cannot accept emails or phone calls requesting a change.

Where do I vote?

Every voter will be assigned a voting place within the precinct where they live. Your precinct will be assigned by our office. You will receive a Voter's Information Card by mail indicating the name and location of your voting place when you register to vote or change your address.

What if a card arrives for a non-household person?

Please return the voter card to us along with whatever information you have. By law, we will have to send another card to the same address and when that card is returned back to us, we will make them inactive. If we do not get the card back, we will assume that the voter lives at the address where the card was mailed.

What time do the polls open?

All voting places in Durham County are open on Election Day from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM.

What if I cannot enter or visit my polling place?

If you are unable to enter your voting place due to age or physical disability, you will be allowed to vote in your vehicle. Have someone enter the voting place and inform the election officials of your desire to vote a curbside ballot. The precinct officials will bring the ballot and voting forms to your vehicle. OR, you can request an absentee ballot.

Mail your request for an absentee ballot to: Board of Elections, Attn: Absentee Ballots, PO Box 868, Durham, NC, 27702, or you can fax your request to the Board of Elections (919) 560-0688. Please make sure to sign your request.

What is One-Stop Early Voting?

The voter appears in person at the Board of Elections Office or satellite voting location, submits an application for a ballot, is issued the ballot and votes at that time. This process is technically called "One-Stop No-Excuse Absentee Voting" as it is a type of Absentee Voting but it eliminates the mailings between the voter and the BOE. It is now generally referred to as One-Stop Early Voting, or simply Early Voting.

What is a provisional ballot/transferred voter?

It is the responsibility of the voter to ensure that their information is correct on the records of the Board of Elections. If the voter shows up at a precinct on election day and the information in the voter records is incorrect or not there at all, the voter will be allowed to fill out a voter registration/change form and vote a ballot. This provisional ballot will be examined by the Board to determine if it can be counted. Under the provisions of the Voter Rights Act of 1993, failsafe voting, we will make every effort to count the provisional ballots. A voter who has moved to a different precinct more than 30 days prior to the election will be transferred to their new precinct where they will not have to vote a provisional ballot.

What are my primary responsibilities as a voter?

Register to vote at least 25 days prior to an election, and notify the Board of Elections of any changes of information. Study the candidates and the issues and then cast an informed, secret ballot for the candidates/issues of your choice.